1. Start At The Bottom - Wordpress does not ship with any copyright protection for your blog. Depending on your jurisdiction, your work may be copyrighted without notice. It certainly doesn’t hurt to tell everyone that your content is copyrighted. Adding a copyright notice to your footer is easy enough, but if you use Blog-Copyright, your copyright notice will stay current from year to year without editing. Blog-Copyright adds the year of your first blog post through the current year to your copyright notice so you never have to mess with updating your content copyright notice.
  2. Moving A Little Further Up Your Post Page - You must have a sociable plugin of some type if you want your content to be spread easily by visitors. Whether it be easily bookmarking your site at del.icio.us or digging the post at Digg, your visitor is more likely to spread your content if you make it easy for them. Please don’t put buttons all over the place. If “&raquo” is the polyester of blogs, buttons are the “Baby On Board” signs. Gregarious is a good plugin that enables visitors to share your content not only by bookmarking or digging, but also by emailing the content. An “email this” or “print this” option is one feature I’d like to see added to the Wordpress code. Those options ship standard in other content management systems like Joomla. I know what your’re saying “Wordpress is blogging software, not CMS.”, but you’re wrong.
  3. Working Back Up The Page - Comments are the lifeline of any blog. Your community will be born in the comment section of your blog. RSS is available for tracking comments but it doesn’t notify a reader when a change has been made. RSS feeds can seem to be lost in a mish-mash of a feed reader that has 100 feeds going through it daily. Make it easy for those who comment to subscribe to updated comments with Subscribe To Comments. The plugin places a small, hardly noticeable checkbox at the end of your comments that does not detract from your theme. It allows users to manage their own subscriptions to updated comments by email. Email subscriptions are voluntary so you’re not cramming anything down your reader’s throats and a quick email shot to a reader is much more likely to be read than an RSS feed buried somewhere in Bloglines.
  4. Finally At The Top Of The Page - Your readers need to be able to contact you. Wordpress does not ship with a standard “Contact” page or form like most other CMS’s (again Joomla, etc.). There are many plugins available to add a Contact form to your post or page, but some have been shown to be susceptible to spammers. We are using Secure And Accessible PHP Contact Form and have no complaints.
  5. And Finally At The Very Top - Stat tracking is crucial to the success of your new blog. You need an easy way to make sure your tracking code insertion survives theme changes, and if you’ve got a new blog, you’ll be doing a lot of that. Most external stat tracking for your blog like Google Analytics or Mint is done by insertion of a small bit of javascript code in your blog pages. Using a plugin to insert the javascript instead of manually inserting the code into your theme pages will make sure the script is placed in your theme pages no matter what theme you are using. We are currently using Mint as our stat tracker. WP-Mint inserts the code tracking code without the need for us to manually change theme files. There are plugins that use the same principle for other stat trackers like Google Analytics. Again, if you’re a new blog, you might go through several theme changes and a small thing like re-inserting your stat tracking code can get annoying.

These are essential plugins to a new wordpress blog. Everything else is your own personal preference but by integrating these into your new blog, you can save yourself time, increase your traffic and enhance your visitor experience.

"5 “Must Have” Plugins For Your New Wordpress Blog" by Tommy was published on March 23rd, 2007 and is listed in Wordpress.

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Comments on "5 “Must Have” Plugins For Your New Wordpress Blog": 2 Comments

  1. Web Designer wrote,

    It seems to me that so much emphasis is on social networks for blog websites, is it now that obtaining links to your site is now redundant?

  2. namith wrote,

    How about this all rounder wordpress plugin?

    Use wp-insert to insert every kind of code you will ever need to insert into your blog. The plugin features 5 ad widgets, provision to insert ads into right,left,top and bottom of your posts/pages, feed management options like adding your logo to your feeds, redirecting your feeds to feedburner, feedburner subscribe via email widget, Provisions to insert ads above or below your feeds, Subscribe to feed widget, Provision to insert google analytics code easily, Provision to add any kind of code to your header and footer area.

    Future plans include sections for SEO and social bookmarking..


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